ABB Steps Up Marine R&D with New Lab
Next generation of maritime technology will be developed with ship owners at high technology facility in Helsinki, Finland.
Power and automation group ABB has upped its commitment to research and development in the marine sector by opening a new laboratory in Helsinki, next to the Azipod factory, aiming to bring together all the company’s offerings for the shipping industry under one roof.
ABB said it has invested significant funds in the scheme, which will be used by the 30 ABB engineers dedicated to marine research in Helsinki as well as to demonstrate products to customers.
“We are constantly testing and developing new technologies. This laboratory is a wonderful step forward and enables a full range of innovation activities, now that all of our marine systems can be tested and developed in the same place,” said Mikko Lepistö, Vice President of software and automation operations at ABB.
The new lab will support the pillars of ABB’s marine technologies including automation, remote control systems, propulsion, integrated operations and waste heat recovery systems, the company said, adding that it will also have the possibility to function as a simulator in the future.
The laboratory is designed to meet the needs of the customer, ABB said. Heikki Soljama, managing director of ABB’s Marine and Ports business unit, commented, “R&D is as important as ever for the shipping industry. The challenges facing the whole sector are well documented and now is the time for innovation and new solutions; this lab will help us achieve that goal. Ultimately, though, we will be responding to the needs of the industry and the desire for cost efficiency, reliability and safety will always be key.”
The lab will fully utilize the Integrated Operations concept which joins up the shore operation to what happens onboard, an outcome of ABB’s commitment to the Internet of Things, Services and People.
“Digitalization allows owners to monitor remotely entire fleets using cloud services. When data collected by automation systems is utilized in the most optimal way, we can save both costs and environment. The Internet of Things, Services and People opens new possibilities for the marine industry and especially for the development of the service business,” Lepistö said.